A Canadian Thanksgiving
by Anita Mae Draper
Happy Thanksgiving to anyone who is thankful for blessings received no matter where they live, but especially to Canadians who are feasting on turkey and trimmings today. We were blessed with the scenery in the above photo on Friday night at the start of this Thanksgiving weekend. An awesome inspiring vision of God's handiwork. How can we not help but praise Him for his blessings?
A couple weeks ago, I draped our dining room table in its Thanksgiving finery to match the colors of the leaves spiraling down from their summer heights. At least they look colorful inside the house where the real ones don't grow.
Although we're staying home this Thanksgiving because Nelson is on call, in preceding years, we've stuffed ourselves at his sister's place in Regina where they lay out a feast of a dozen dishes including the holopchi and perogi of their Ukranian heritage. White turkey meat, dark turkey meat, and ham. Cauliflower, creamed turnips and mashed potatoes. Spiced beets, pickles, and 2 types of salad. Gravy and cranberry sauce. And for dessert, there's pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped cream, your choice of one or both. My goodness, I'm getting full just thinking about it.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a day of praising God for blessings received, especially the harvest which everyone depended upon. Thanksgiving wasn't always on the 2nd Monday of October, however.
|The Newmarket Era. September 22, 1893 |
There must have been some public outcry about the late date, because while researching the Newmarket Era for genealogy items that I can use on my Author Memories blog featuring the 1911 Courtship Letters, I found this proclamation:
|The Newmarket Era. September 29, 1911 |
1911 was a banner year for the Canadian harvest and my 1911 Courtship: Aug 13 Dear Ethel post shows the newspaper ads where 50,000 men were needed to get the crop off the fields. At church yesterday, Pastor Lorne said we have lots to be thankful for especially this year's record crop - the best in the history of Canada.
In fact, this year's grain harvest is so big, the normal round temporary grain bins aren't suitable, and the farmers have switched to tubes similar to those used in the silage industry. These long, caterpillar like shelters are about 8 feet wide and seem to go on forever. I haven't looked up the actual specs yet, but I'd say these 2 tubes are holding the equivalent of 5 temporary round bins in a spot where this farmer normally only has one, two at the most.
|Temporary Grain storage for the 2013 Canadian Harvest|
About the date, according to the Canadian Heritage website, "From 1936 to 1956, inclusive, a proclamation was issued yearly to appoint the second Monday of October as Thanksgiving Day. In 1957, a proclamation was issued fixing permanently Thanksgiving Day on that day, thus eliminating the necessity of an annual proclamation."
|A Thanksgiving Service, attended by Canadian troops,|
being held in the Cambrai Cathedral (Notre-Dame de Grâce chapel),
Oct 13th, 1918. Courtesy wikipedia.
I really like having Thanksgiving in October because that's when the leaves are falling, the pumpkins are orange, and the harvest is getting in the bin. By the 1st week of November, many provinces are covered in snow with the trees all bare. It feels more like Christmas than Thanksgiving.
This year our thoughts of Thanksgiving extend to our daughter, Jessie, who is working in Indonesia on the island of Sumatra as an intern for Samaritan's Purse - the people who distribute the Shoe Boxes around the world at Christmas. Jessie and her roommate, Meagan, another intern from Canada, started a blog about their life and adventures called Musings from Indonesia.
On this Canadian Thanksgiving, we take time to praise God for our blessings. We're all different, and we all have different needs, but we all need to praise God for every blessing received.
|Handcrafted by Kathy Shishkowski, Candiac, SK|
How was your harvest this year? Did you receive a blessing you weren't expecting?
Anita Mae Draper is retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and lives on the prairie of southeast Saskatchewan, Canada with her hubby of 30 plus years and the youngest of their 4 kids. She writes cowboy stories set in the Old West, and Edwardian stories set in the East. Anita Mae semi-finaled in the ACFW's 2011 Genesis contest, and finaled in the Daphne du Maurier, Fool for Love, Duel on the Delta and the Linda Howard Award of Excellence contests. Anita Mae's short story, "Riding on a Christmas Wish" will appear in A Christmas Cup of Cheer, Guideposts Books, October 2013. Anita Mae is represented by Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary Agency. You can find Anita at http://www.anitamaedraper.com/